Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah Wednesday appreciated the invitation sent by Narendra Modi to Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif for his swearing-in ceremony.
“Excellent move by @narendramodi to invite SAARC leaders, especially Pak PM for his swearing in,” Omar tweeted. “Hope this is beginning of sustained talks.”
However, he added, “At the same time, I can’t help wonder what BJP would have said if a PM designate Rahul Gandhi had done the same thing.”
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Recently, Omar had said the Indo-Pak dialogue faces a “challenge” if Modi becomes PM.
“We have seen a strengthening of back channel dialogue process with the change of administration from Musharraf government to Nawaz Sharif government,” he had said. “Now the challenge is what happens post May 16. Assuming the worst case scenario and you have a Modi-led government with an almost brutal majority in parliament. To what extent does he convert his stated policy on Pakistan to his actual policy? Because if his stated policy is going to be converted into official policy, then this dialogue process is going to die a very swift and unlamented death in the corridors of power in Delhi.”
Opposition PDP also hailed Modi’s invite. “He (Modi) has already sent out an encouraging signal that he is serious to follow Vajpayee’s initiatives of friendship towards Pakistan,” PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said. “It augurs well that Modi recognised the importance of Pakistan as a neighbour at the outset. We hope Sharif will positively respond to the invite.”
Separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also hailed the move, calling it “a good beginning and an encouraging message”.